Does Knowing More Science Lead to a Better Understanding of Climate Change? Not For Republicans

A Pew Research Center survey about climate change published last year seems especially relevant today because it shows just how little evidence matters to one particular group of people.

Here’s a simple question: Is the Earth warming due to human activity?

All evidence point to yes… and you would think the more science knowledge you have, the more likely you’d be to accept that reality.

It turns out that’s precisely what we find… for Democrats.

Republicans, however, don’t accept the consequences of climate change even when they have more scientific knowledge!

ScienceKnowledgeGOP2

Notice the numbers jumping up among Democrats as they have more science knowledge… while the GOP bars never seem to waver.

And the trend doesn’t change on other questions, either:

FT_17.03.21_sciKnowledgePartisan_climate

The saddest part about that is how Republicans get even dumber, even as they ostensibly know more about science, on the question of whether storms will get more severe due to climate change.

A majority of Democrats holding medium or high levels of science knowledge said it was “very likely” that climate change would lead to rising sea levels that erode beaches and shore lines, harm to animal wildlife and their habitats, damage to forests and plant life, storms that are more severe, and more droughts or water shortages. But there are no differences or only modest differences among Republicans holding high, medium and low science knowledge levels in their expectations of harms to the Earth’s ecosystems because of climate change.

What a sad reflection on our society when science is considered so political that Republicans refuse to accept conclusions reached through mountains of experimentation and evidence. No wonder they fall for Donald Trump‘s conspiracy theories. No amount of reason will change their minds. They don’t value facts. A democracy doesn’t work when the electorate is ignorant.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.